MORITZ VON OSWALD – SILENCIO
Moritz von Oswald is a tough artist to pinpoint, and that is usually a good sign. Influential techno producer, Palais Schaumburg percussionist. Co-founder of the legendary dub-techno duo Basic Channel as well as (one of my all-time favorite reggae acts) Rhythm & Sound, never afraid to enter unexpected experimental territories and cross musical boundaries.
Silencio opens with a long (12:34) electronic track which sounds fairly standard at first, but soon introduces some elements indicating which direction the album will take. In the tracks that follow, the 16-voice choir Vocalconsort Berlin often takes the lead, but is countered by von Oswald‘s electronics and synthesizer voices. Four tracks (Luminoso, Infinito, Volta and Opaco) appear in two different versions; three others (Silencio, Librarsi and Colpo) only feature their original version.
‘What are the differences and similarities between human and artificial sound, between oscillations generated by vocal cords and synthesizer voices, voltage amplified by speakers? […] The vast dynamism of the human voice adds to the profound weight of electronics while offering up a rhythmic source and sonic noise palette unexplored in von Oswald’s repertoire. […] The focus is not on using one means to imitate the other, but to sonically discuss the tensions and harmonies between the two worlds and create a dialogue between them.’
This exciting music on Silencio is reminiscing the work of composers like Varèse, Ligeti and Xenakis. This music is meant for an avant-garde-loving audience, for those listeners who are not afraid of trodding unexpected new paths.
SMALL THINGS ON SUNDAYS – GUIDE
When listening to a lot of ambient music releases, there will come a time when a lot of music starts to sound the same. Or same-ish. After all, like any other genre, it has its own cycle of innovation (when creative artists develop new sounds) and consolidation (when other artists start to adopt these sounds).
So it is always nice to hear a sound that is different from what is in fashion at the moment – a sound that feels personal, and unrelated to current fashion trends.
When listening to Small Things On Sundays Guide, I felt that I heard such an original, different, and surprising, sound.
I did not realize that everything on this release (apart from the opener Prozac) was previously released between 2008 and 2017. In fact, this album sounds like it could have been created and released today. This demonstrates that Henrik Bagner and Claus Polsen created their own unique soundworld using turntables, (broken) guitar, radio, tapes, casio keyboard, viola, and whatever else they could use.
This release is like a ‘young person’s guide to Small Things On Sundays‘ – and it is a perfect introduction to their work.